Tag Archives: recommendations

Some of My Favorite Life-Changing Products (in case you need more gift ideas…)

December is a popular time for bloggers to share favorites from the year. Today, I thought I’d get in on the action and gush about a few products I’ve found to be especially life-changing. I think any of these would make a fantastic gift, if you’re still looking for ideas, but they also get the Beth Berger stamp of approval as a doodad that has added value to my life in some way. Here we go…

1. Tom Bihn Synapse 19
I’ve talked about this backpack a lot on this blog, and for good reason. The design is absolutely genius and will keep everything you need to carry organized. It doesn’t matter if you’re flying somewhere for a weekend away or just heading to class, this bag is super fun to pack!

2. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens
Fine-tipped marker pens are my key to writing neat and fast. Plus, with all the colors these pens come in, it is super easy to create color-coded systems in my notebooks and planners.

3. Tangle Teezer hairbrush 
Ok, seeing is believing with this bad boy. And I certainly didn’t trust the fuss before trying this hairbrush out for myself. I have long, fairly tangle-prone hair and with just a few swipes of the Tangle Teezer all my knots are taken care of. Witchcraft? Probably.

4. Instant Pot
I thought the crock-pot was a thing of beauty and convenience until I cooked beans…FROM DRY…in a matter of minutes with the instant pot.

  • and steaming basket and silicone cover, too
    If you really want to up your IP game, this steaming basket is how we make a protein and a veggie side in one fell swoop, and the cover is great for saving leftovers to reheat the next day!

5. 8-days-a-week planner
A to-do list is only half the battle for me. Once I’ve planned out everything I need to do for the day, I like to take it one step further and plug those to-do’s into a schedule. This planner has the whole day laid out in half hour increments which allows me to see where things can go. I love this puzzle approach.

6. Nomatic compression cube
I’ve tried a ton of packing cubes and this one is by far my favorite! Not only does it slot perfectly down into my Tom Bihn backpack, but the fact that it is two-sided gives me an extra level of organization.

7. Whirly board
This has been SUCH A FUN addition to my workouts over the last couple months. Not to mention a really fun way to get in an active break in the midst of my work day. I just peel myself away from my desk, hop on the board for a few minutes, and PLAY. Bonus: Makes me feel like a badass skater/snowboarder chick.

8. Mask brushes
I try to do a mask every Monday evening. (Set it and forget it self-care FTW!) When I started this ritual, I was just using my fingers to gloop on the masks…which is fine. But then I discovered mask brushes and it was a total game changer!

9. Minimalist wallet
Sometimes I just don’t have a need for a huge billfold and I want to slap a few cards together, throw them in my back pocket and GO. This is the wallet I use for those times. Plus, it even comes with a little spot to tuck a key! Love it.

Do you have any life-changing products you think I should check out? Leave ’em below! 

P.S. The entire 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!!!

Advertisements

What’s your favorite podcast?

listening to lately

Lately, I’ve found myself in a pretty comfortable podcast rotation. However, I’m always interested to hear what others are listening to. So I asked a few folk, “What’s your favorite podcast?” Here’s how they answered. If you’re looking for some great recommendations, look no further…

The Black Tapes. Super creepy audio drama, well worth a listen.

The Way I Heard It. 5 minute episodes containing random but compelling anecdotes.

Thinking Sideways. Funny but thorough looks at mysteries at least 5 years old. The hosts have awesome chemistry.”

Lauren 

“Our whole office was waaaay into Serial. Debates about the innocence of Adnan Syed… and if he didn’t do it – who did?”

-Drew

Wigsnatchers (comedy), 2 Dope Queens (comedy), Limetown (terrifying drama), You Must Remember This (Hollywood history- amazing series on the Manson family), Stuff Mom Never Told You (A+ feminism), The Uncertain Hour (amazing breakdown of poverty/sociology), Tanis (similar to Black Tapes), RuPaul: What’s the Tee? (duh), Gravy (food culture/sociology).”

-Betsy

“I am so hooked on The Black Tapes and Tanis. I also like The Bright Sessions (fiction)–a therapist has patients with special powers and helps them cope with them, and then requisite conspiracy drama ensues.

Really into Lore now, too. Each episode looks at freaky historical events and folk tales.”

-Vince

“Thumbs up for Whistlestop, neat podcast, well-written, researched, and performed by journalist John Dickerson about US Presidential campaign histories.”

-Lydia

The Read — Kid Fury and Crissle are HILARIOUS. They cover entertainment news, Black excellence, and at the end of each episode they “read” someone or something for FILTH.”

-Ashley

“Please don’t judge me but: Bitch Sesh: a Real Housewives Breakdown by Casey Wilson and Danielle Schnieder (of Happy Endings).”

-Adam

Keepin’ it 1600 for all your elections needs.

Greatest Generation if you love Star Trek and/or sophomoric humor.”

-Jon

“Nicole Antoinette’s podcast Real Talk Radio. It’s all about building better habits, making tough transformations, success stories and failures and how to make change happen. She’s very honest and raw and has lots of different guests on each season.”

Laskmy 

Other popular favorites included;

Invisibilia, 99% Invisible, More Perfect, RadioLab, Tolkien Talk, Welcome to Night Vale, Alice Isn’t Dead, The Moth, Judge John Hodgman, Science Friday, Small Town Horror, Archive 81Chapo Trap House, Revisionist History, Embedded,  WTF with Marc Maron, Fresh Air, This American Life, All Songs Considered, Celebration Rock, The Nerdist, Strangers, Not By Accident, Savage LovecastStuff You Missed in History Class, Code Switch, Citizen Radio, Selected Shorts, The Longest Shortest TimeMy Dad Wrote a Porno, Snap Judgement, Reply All, Mystery Show, Extra Pack of Peanuts, Song Exploder, Death Sex and Money, How Did This Get Made, and Note to Self.

(Is it just me or are podcasts KILLING IT lately?!?)

Oh, and in case you’re curious, this is what MY current subscription* list looks like:

Plus, I just listened to an episode of Real Talk Radio per Laskmy’s recommendation and LOVED it and I can’t wait to check out The Box, a new podcast created by my friend Lauren (her favorites are featured up top).

*These subscriptions are definitely more of my “every day” podcasts, like for working out or chores. For long road-trips I prefer stuff like You Must Remember This, Mystery Show, and Serial.

Ok guys, I know this was a pretty exhaustive list…but what’s been left off? What have YOU been listening to lately?

My Top 10 Skin Care Staples

skincare1

Today I thought I’d give you a peek at the products that have currently taken up residence on the side of sink. While my skin care routine is fairly minimal, I’ve found a groove that works for me. And I’ve come a long ways since my college days when I would regularly dive into bed after a debate tournament with a face full of makeup and wake up the next morning armed with a bar of hotel soap and a rough washcloth. My skin thanks me for each small step I’ve taken away from that nightmare, trust me. So, here’s a look at the goo and gloop that I slather on my epidermis, why I love it, and when I use it…

skincare cerave

1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser I switched to this cleanser about 6 months ago and I think it would take something extra special for me to fall out of love with it. I use it to wash my face morning and night. It is so gentle, doesn’t dry out the skin, and leaves my face feeling super clean.

 

 

 

skincare alba scrub

2. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Scrub I mentioned this scrub in a monthly favorites and for good reason. Alba Botanica is one of my favorite skin care brands and this scrub doesn’t disappoint! It contains gentle buffing granules to refine pores and leave skin feeling all a-glow. I feel like a lot of folks get a little addicted to scrubs. They just make your skin feel so soft as soon as you step away from the sink. But over-using can cause your skin to produce excess oils, having the adverse effect that you intended. So I only use this guy once a week.

skincare mask

 

3. Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress Clay Facial Mask Similar to scrubs, I like to do a mask about once a week. I don’t actually recommend the mask pictured here (I’m just too stubborn to let a product that’s just okay go to waste). I bought it when I popped into CVS for a treat yo’self one-use mask. This full-size version was only two dollars more than the mini so I figured, “What the hey?” In reality, not my favorite. (And now I know…masks = worth investing in. Don’t waste your money on the cheapy-cheaps!) I would recommend this one or this one instead. But the point is, indulging in a face mask once in a while is awesome and my skin loves it!

skincare wipes4. Up & Up Sensitive Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes Sometimes I get a little lazy and need to swipe off some mascara with out turning on a tap, ya feel me? Because I take my laziness very seriously, I’ve tried a whole bunch of these genius little wipes. And these are hands down my favorite. Check ’em out if you suffer from occasional bouts of laziness as well.

 

 

skincare vichy

 

5. Vichy Lifactive Supreme As I mentioned in this post, this stuff is kind of amazing. I dab a bit of this cream on fine lines day or night as needed.  It soaks right into the skin, without feeling wet or tacky, and has instant results. It smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while brightening and firming the skin. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with anti-aging products, but I’d totally recommend this one!

skincare cetaphil

 

6. Cetaphil Mouisturizing Cream Since moving to South Florida, dry skin hasn’t been so much of a concern. (No winters!) But keeping a good drug-store moisturizer on deck for those days when my skin has endured a long day of sun and salt-water is generally a good idea. I used to swear by the drug-store dupes for Aveeno, but since receiving Cetaphil in an Influenster box, I’m a convert. I just pick up a sample size at Target so it can easily travel with me to colder climates.

skincare toner7. Alaffia Coconut Water Face Toner In lieu of a cream, like the one above, for everyday moisture, I love this coconut water face toner. It feels so nice to just mist it on, especially in this heat, and it smells good too! Bonus: It’s made from certified Fair Trade ingredients. Woohoo!

 

 

 

skincare body oil

8. Wellness of Eden Lavender Body Oil For moisturizing my body, I love using oils because they soak right into the skin. To me, lotions tend to feel like they’re hovering on top of the skin and can feel greasy. I specifically like to use lavender because I shower at night, and nothing will transport you to sleepytime like a little post-shower lavender aromatherapy.

 

skincare sunscreen

 

 

9. Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen SPF 30 More Alba Botanica! I’m a half German, half Irish girl living in a very tropical world. Daily sunscreen is a must. While I tend to use a more sport-oriented sunscreen when we go to the beach or pool, I use this one on my face and shoulders for day-to-day adventures out into the great outdoors…like walking through my parking lot to get to the car.

skincare tinted moisturizer10. Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer For a touch of color correction and concealing this little tube has been my go-to the last few months. It has a very light formula that’s great for sensitive skin while still providing enough coverage to even out skin tone. I’ll definitely repeat purchase this brand!

 

 

 

my top 10 skin care staples

What skin care staples do YOU swear by? Have you tried any of the products listed above? Any you’d like to add to your repertoire?